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A Computational Framework for Experimentation with Edge Organizations

TitleA Computational Framework for Experimentation with Edge Organizations
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsRamsey, M, Levitt, R
Date Published06/13/2005
KeywordsCenter for Integrated Facility Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Global Projects Center, Organization Design, Simulation, Virtual Design Team
AbstractEdge organizations emphasize moving knowledge and decision-making power to individuals and teams who directly interface with the environment. Traditional project modeling tools cannot adequately represent the critical impact of information and knowledge flows, nor the importance of developing trust between workers in Edge organizations. The Virtual Design Team (VDT) computational modeling platform evolved from ongoing research at Stanford University starting in the late 1980s. VDT has been used successfully to model activities, communications, and exception handling within traditional project organizations performing relatively routine, albeit highly concurrent, tasks. This paper discusses POW-ER, a new computational modeling platform based on the same “information processing” view of organizations as VDT. POW-ER is an extensible organization simulation platform, within which we have prototyped direct support for modeling several critical dynamic behaviors of workers in modern knowledge-based organizations: knowledge flows, trust effects, and cultural/institutional differences between team members from different backgrounds. POW-ER can also support demand-driven, dynamic allocation of resources to tasks as needed, to model work processes that cannot be represented by predefined tasks. Using POW-ER, researchers can now conduct emulation experiments on Edge organizations to validate and calibrate the computational model, ultimately aiding in the systematic design and optimization of these organizational